Antonio Conte has endorsed Chelsea’s decision to sell forward Mohamed Salah in January 2014.
Limited opportunities saw the Egypt forward join Fiorentina on loan 12 months later, and then Roma on a temporary deal which became permanent.
“It’s not so simple,” Chelsea head coach Conte said. “We have to compare Mohamed Salah of four, five years ago, and not with this Salah now.
“Salah in the present has improved a lot, he has developed his football a lot. I think the Italy experience was very important for him and now I’m sure that he’s a different player, compared to the past.
“For this reason I think it’s very difficult to have this comparison.”
While Salah was sold to Roma after a temporary stint at Fiorentina, Tammy Abraham is set to return to Stamford Bridge after his season on loan with Swansea City.
Conte believes the 20-year-old, who is not able to face his parent club on Saturday, will have benefited from his time at the Liberty Stadium – and believes he has a long-term future at Chelsea.
“This is an important experience for Tammy,” Conte said ahead of the Premier League fixture at the Liberty Stadium.
“I think for him this season is very important for his development. He’s playing, not with regularity but he’s playing.
“I think this is right for his experience, to improve his experience and confidence. Then we’ll see for the future, what will happen.
“For sure, Tammy is a Chelsea player and will be an important player for the future.”